Tuesday 18th December
Very early start to get to airport for 6.30am flight. Love Launceston airport for ease of bag drop and parking! First time with FOUR kids on flights – they were very very good! Especially the baby, who slept through most of it. Master Two was a bit feral by the end of the second flight, and woke up very cranky from his too-short sleep, but coped okay. Was a bit hot to hang about waiting for car rental, both in airport and again when picking up (they had the wrong car seats so we had to wait for changes) but eventually we got on the road.
First stop to auntie in Perth, partly to say hello, partly to pick up keys to holiday rental which had been dropped there for us. Then made our way to Rockingham to drop the bags and have a little explore of the house (which was HUGE. With lots of stairs! And a fabulous view, which was dominated by kite surfers for most of our visit).
We then headed to the foreshore for a get together with Miss Seven’s old school friends – kids had a ball, I enjoyed catching up with the other mums. We were all getting pretty weary by then, but had to go shopping – reminds me of how much I prefer Click and Collect!
Late in the afternoon we discovered there were issues with lighting in house. Too exhausted to muck about with it after first texts/calls to owner so fell into bed, to deal with it in the morning.
An early start thanks to M2, but nice when I messaged Lyn and unexpectedly she and kids free to come visit – great start to the holiday proper! Electrician came while they were with us, and fixed the problem, thank goodness.
Late afternoon saw us head to more friends, the Giblings, in Port Kennedy for play and dinner. (cut here for big photos and lots more reportage!)
After a brief visit to the beach to fly borrowed kite (M2 was fascinated by the kite surfers in the bay – this was as close as he was going to get!), I dropped three bigger kids with PK friends so I could get mani/pedi – baby was awesome and slept the whole time. Grabbed a few bits and pieces at the crazy busy shops before picking kids up and heading to Mandurah for a long lunch (beautiful as always!) with Terri.
Late afternoon we headed home for a short visit from Helen and daughter, then a relatively early night as I was starting to feel the effects of the social whirl.
The world did not end and the weariness didn’t stop us from continuing the whirl! Ex-workmate Cheryl and her daughter Jen (ex-babysitter extraordinaire!) visited us for a cuppa and chat, then the two biggest went to their PK friends AGAIN while I stole a couple of hours of Alisa’s precious pre-wedding time for a lovely (and as usual, publishing inspiring) catch up.
Then dashed back to grab kids, and dropped Miss Seven at Helen’s for a few hours while the boys and I collected Daddy and the extra car from the airports (yes, two of them in that trip). Home for dinner and another early night (never early enough it seems – waking up TIRED).
Husband’s 41st birthday! He’d already received most of his presents previously (because he is IMPATIENT!) but we went out for breakfast and did a bit of shopping, during which he scored another UFC DVD that he’s keen on. His work mate Walter, home alone for the holidays, came to visit after lunch, and Miss Seven and bubs and I went out to a BBQ at Helen’s for a few hours later in the afternoon, which was very pleasant. I think I held the baby for all of 20 minutes, while feeding, and he was passed around all the ladies for the rest of the time! I’m so excited that Helen and the family are relocating to Tassie in a couple of months!
Last day of Aurealis Awards entries, so had to spend a couple of hours on that in the morning, while thinking about the process of getting ready for Alisa and Chris’s wedding!
Dropped the big kids at their friends’ for a sleepover, leaving Daddy with the toddler (a nice afternoon for them to be on their own). Ended up driving up to the wedding on my own (with baby) and found it with no problems. Terri arrived at the same time as me which was good as we were ushers! Found our way to the beautiful “Hidden Garden” venue and started greeting the guests as they came down. Bub slept all through this bit, but with impeccable timing, starting crying just as Alisa and the bridal party walked down the stairs! I ended up sitting on the grass a bit back from the gathering to feed him, and missed most of the ceremony so will have to watch the video one day! What I saw and heard was lovely, and the bride was simply stunning! The pre-reception gathering and the reception were also lovely, and I’ve never seen such an enthusiastic entry by a wedding party! Our table was a great group of friends, a nice bonus to the day, the meal was yummy, and the speeches enjoyable. Congratulations again to Alisa and Chris, and all my love and best wishes for your future together.
After his big day out Sunday, the baby slept from midnight until 5am, then continued to sleep until after 7am, which was most appreciated! Had to get up early to meet Jody for breakfast, which was very pleasant (especially as I got to leave the toddler with Daddy again!), then started my hunt for cooked chooks for Christmas lunch. Failed at the first attempt, so went home to drop off the groceries I did get, feed the baby, then go pick up the kids. Who weren’t there! They’d gone to friends grandma’s for a huge swim, so husband, little boys and I enjoyed Hog’s Breath lunch on our own. I’d got the perfect park at the busy shops, so decided to brave the hordes to get the chooks at Woollies, and a couple of other bits and pieces. Was not the hideous experience I expected! Finally found my way to where the kids were, brought them home to enjoy a quiet Christmas Eve afternoon 🙂
Happy Christmas! I enforced some rules about opening presents (no free-for-all in THIS house, thank you very much!) and we enjoyed the gift giving – some happy children 🙂 Gradually got ourselves organised to head to auntie’s house for Christmas lunch, though husband had visitors before we left. Luckily we had two cars, so the kids and I left earlier, managing to hit the entire population of the southern districts heading up the freeway for Christmas lunch it seemed! Was a bit dire in the other direction too! Finally arrived, and spent much of the afternoon in the airconditioned lounge tending children. Husband arrived in time for lunch, and it was a pleasant way to enjoy Christmas. Left about 4pm to have a peaceful Christmas night at home.
A pretty slow start to the day, before big kids went off to their friends’ place for the afternoon, and husband and I snuck up to Riverton to Sizzler for a late lunch, as much to annoy the kids as anything else! Not really much else happened for the day, but the kids and I enjoyed the Doctor Who Christmas special 🙂 I went to pick up my parents at the airport at 10pm – their flight got in nice and early, but they sat on the tarmac for 20 minutes waiting for a parking bay, which was annoying. Baby was fabulous – slept all through the seat transfers and wandering about the airport, not waking until we got home.
Another slow starting day, as we were all a bit weary and Mum was unwell (possible food poisoning from inflight meal). Perth family came down for lunch (Hog’s Breath again as we tried, but failed, to escape the heat, which kept cranking up each day!) then came back to our place for drinks and chats. Dad made dinner which was nice, as baby was hysterical for an hour or so. We all had an early night though, much needed!
Up super early to drive husband to airport to fly back up to work. Came back home to change baby and tidy up to go to wonderful breakfast with ex-workmates. Mrs Woodland put on her usual fantastic spread, which we all enjoyed. SO much food! All delicious, and good company to go with it. Nice too to just have baby in tow! I then took Master Ten bowling with his friends and spent the time chatting with their mum for a couple of hours. He went home with them, so later, Mum and I wandered up to the shops with the other three kids to get a few things and I ended up having my nails done again, while Mum coped admirably with the kids, despite crying baby and weary toddler. Dropped them home then picked up the boy, to head home for another early night.
Dad and Master Ten up very early to go fishing (small success, but that’s not the point is it!). I left Mum & Dad at home to enjoy a bit of holiday relaxation and hid from the ever-increasing heat at the early cinema session with friends. One lot came back with us to our place after for a play, until we had to get ready to go to Perth for uncle’s 60th birthday. Mum & Dad left a bit earlier than us, and managed to find their way thanks to my excellent directions 🙂 We joined them around 4.30 and although I did get to chat with a few rellies and help a bit, kid wrangling kept me a bit busy (and hidden away in the aircon again for a lot of it!). It was a nice get together though, and got some good photos of the family. Mum & Dad stayed the night to enjoy, but kids and I headed back about 10pm. So hot by now I brought the house’s only fan down to my room to try to avoid the puddle of sweat I’d been waking up in for the past several nights! Semi-successful … starting to really miss Tassie weather!
Relatively late sleep in, thanks to exhausted kids (7am is a sleep in, right?). After extended slathering in sunscreen, took kids to the beach for a little while. Was really hot though, even at 9am, and too much for bubba so we didn’t last too long. Lay around the house all day melting, pretty much. Mum & Dad didn’t come home until late afternoon, and that was pretty much it for the day!
This is where I stopped jotting notes to myself about what we did, so things will no doubt become a bit vague!
Took Miss Seven and the little boys shopping with Mum and hung out in the new Kwinana Big W store mostly! They have the BEST change rooms ever. Fitted all of us, plus trolley plus pram, with room to try clothes on and feed the baby, all at once! Fleshed out M7’s wardrobe (I think she had more clothes in her suitcase than in her cupboard at home, as we’d got rid of everything she’d outgrown this year!), got a couple of things for everyone else. Was quite pleasant, and meant we avoided the revolting heat outside!
Later in the afternoon, took M7 and the baby to the beach to meet up with some friends of hers. It was absolutely delightful, as there were lots of people to cuddle bubs, so I got to enjoy a swim at Palm Beach – no dolphins, which was disappointing as friends said they’d been there every other day, but still lovely. Wish we’d been able to spend more afternoons like that! Was busy up and down the beachfront, as people geared up for New Year’s Eve celebrations, but where we were? Just perfect.
Tuesday 1st January 2013
Dropped M10 at his mate’s place for their last hangout together, and intended to have M7 with her friend too, but when we got there, friend had broken out in unexplained rash, with sore throat. Given non-vaccinated infant and immune suppressed mother, thought it best to avoid playdate until diagnosed. M7 devastated, naturally. Grumped about most of the day, but then we went to M10’s friend’s place for a swim that afternoon, which she and M2 enjoyed, while baby very helpfully slept the whole time.
Wednesday 2nd Jan
Had batches of visitors, with Brenda and her kids in the morning, Bellinis for a while after lunch and Terri for the afternoon. Dropped Terri to train station via a visit to Helen, then an unanticipated trip to airport to collect husband off an early flight home, which was a nice surprise for the end of the holiday. Nicely social day.
Thursday 3rd Jan
Had thought this would be a social day too, but all our planned visitors cancelled! Husband, Dad and M10 went fishing on the boat with cousin Daz, which was probably the highlight of M10’s day, while Mum and I hung about at home, waiting for guests who didn’t come – I started packing and cleaning up a bit, but really was a bit of a wasted day. M7 was delighted when her friend was confirmed non-contagious, so we whisked her off to stay the final night there in the late afternoon.
Friday 4th Jan
Last day! Morning spent cleaning up, packing etc, and I did the rounds of dropping borrowed things back to friends (with much gratitude!) and collecting daughter. Owner came to collect keys about midday, and we left Rockingham (with a bit of a sad sniff) to go to Sizzler for lunch (joined by the Giblings, despite a false start where they went to a different location!). Kids thoroughly enjoyed this, which was the idea. Farewelled Giblings to head to hotel near airport where Mum & Dad were staying, and we were making good use of before our late night flight. Had a lovely swim in the pool – Master Two suddenly decided he was more than capable of putting his head underwater and “swimming” along the bottom, as well as leaping crazily from the side into our arms, which was very good (he got a few bumps on his nose from overenthusiastic underwater swimming, but didn’t seem to bother him much!).
Managed to get the kids bathed and asleep for a couple of hours in the room, before we had to get to the airport for the red-eye. Kids were pretty good – had bassinet seat again on the Perth-Melbourne leg (thank you QANTAS!) and baby slept beautifully, and big kids were good, though really didn’t sleep. M2 a bit feral, but eventually had a nap. Nearly three hours in Melbourne airport, where I just dozed with baby asleep in carrier on me, while husband wrangled the others (who were, all in all, still pretty darn good for such a lack of sleep). We all dozed through the Melbourne-Launceston leg, except M10 who made a new Pokemon/Minecraft buddy, and nattered the whole way to him. Arrived to nice cool Launceston (despite the locals complaining about the heat, it was certainly cooler than WA!), car started for us, packed in the baggage, and headed home. To sleep. We all crashed out for a couple of hours, then napped the day away! Early nights for everyone, even the baby who it seemed had slept most of the day and night before – happy with that. And on Sunday, we woke pretty much refreshed, which was lucky, because Helen, Stew and Julala (M2’s pronunciation!) arrived that afternoon. But that was the end of the trip, so I can finally end this post!
Thinking perhaps next time, for all I do enjoy visiting places I know and people I love, like WA and QLD, that maybe we’ll go to a nice resort somewhere away from everywhere and perhaps actually RELAX on holidays! 🙂 It was fabulous seeing friends and family though, and I’m sorry we didn’t see more of some friends, and very sorry we missed some people altogether – seems no matter how long you have, it’s never long enough! A lovely trip in all.
Lots of photos from our trip on my Facebook page.